Am I Forgetful Or Do I Have A Memory Problem?
Memory loss is a common occurrence.Cognitive impairment, forgetfulness, a "senior moment" - whatever you call it, memory loss can be a frequent, and often embarrassing, part of aging and yet, there is a huge difference between being forgetful and having a memory problem which may lead to dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
While it's important to pay attention to your cognitive function as you age, it's also important to keep things in perspective.However, if you do feel something is wrong, be sure to consult your doctor immediately.Be receptive to friends and family if they mention any abnormal behavior; they are only trying to help.
Signs Of Age-Related Memory Loss
Age-related memory loss may interfere with daily tasks, but can be easily accommodated with some lifestyle changes.Typical behaviors may include forgetting names or important dates, misplacing items, going to the store and forgetting what you needed.You probably are aware of how forgetful you are.You can counter this memory loss by keeping a daily to-do list with you or tracking important dates and information in a date book.
Signs Of A More Serious Problem
Early signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease are similar, but slightly different than those of age related memory loss.A person with Alzheimer's will misplace items in inappropriate places, such as putting a purse in the dishwasher.They may repeat the same question or statement numerous times within a few minutes.They may have difficulty performing simple tasks like dressing or following instructions.They may get lost in a familiar area or appear moody for no reason.Often, those with Alzheimer's feel ashamed and try to hide the fact that they are experiencing problems.
Keep Communication Open
It's so important for people on both sides of this situation to maintain open and honest communication.If you are an elderly person concerned about memory loss, please talk with someone close to you - a sibling, your children, friends or doctor.Those who know you best can tell you if you've been acting oddly, or just having a senior moment.
A doctor can rule out possible medication interactions or side effects or other conditions that may be causing memory loss.The sooner you address the problem, the easier treatment will be.
If You're Concerned About a Friend or Family Member
If you are the friend or relative of an elderly person who you think may be experiencing memory problems, be sure to talk to that person gently and honestly.Ask them if they've noticed any problems and tell then if you have. Cognitive impairment can be due to medication effects, depression, dehydration, sleep problems or other diseases and conditions. Let the person know you care about their health and are worried there may be a serious problem behind their memory loss.Ask them to see a doctor, and if they like, go with them to the appointment and share what you've noticed.
Memory loss is a condition anyone can adapt to.A serious memory problem however may lead to dementia or Alzheimer's and should be addressed immediately.